What to Do When a House Isn’t Selling


It can be frustrating and concerning when your house has been on the market longer than expected. You’ve made memories in this home and are likely looking forward to starting a new chapter elsewhere.

However, when the sale stalls, it’s crucial to reassess your strategy. We will explore five actionable steps to boost your home’s marketability and attract serious buyers.

I will cover in-depth reducing the price, utilizing the St. Joseph prayer and statue-burying tradition, staging the house, making essential repairs and changing real estate agents.

From years of experience as a REALTOR®, I know a plan of action is necessary when the sale isn’t going well. You wanted to sell your house fast, but that didn’t happen.

Let’s dig into some of the essential things to consider.

Reduce the price

The impact of pricing on real estate sales

Nearly every article about homes not selling mentions a proper price. Pricing is arguably the most critical factor in the real estate sales process.

If you set the price too high, your home will linger on the market. It will be overlooked by potential buyers looking for a deal within their budget. Finding the sweet spot that attracts buyers while ensuring you get a fair price for your property.

Determining the need for a price reduction

How do you know if your home is overpriced? Several indicators suggest it’s time to reconsider your asking price. If your home has been on the market significantly longer than the average for your area, if you’re receiving few to no showings, or if feedback from potential buyers consistently cites the price as a concern, it’s likely time for a change.

Strategies for setting a new, competitive price

Reducing the price of your home requires more than just picking a lower number. It requires strategic thinking and market analysis. Reviewing the data again, you must examine why your house isn’t selling.

Try to look through it as the eyes of a buyer would. Remove the emotional attachment to your home. Only then will you be able to get accurate pricing.

A well-timed and thoughtfully calculated price reduction can reignite interest in your property.

Utilize St. Joseph’s Prayer and bury the statue

This may sound far-fetched, but many people of faith follow this home-selling tactic, and many real estate agents swear by it.

Historical and cultural background

The tradition of burying a St. Joseph statue to help sell a house is rooted in centuries-old Christian lore. St. Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus Christ, is revered as the home and family patron saint.

The practice is believed to have originated with St. Teresa of Avila in the 16th century, who buried St. Joseph’s medals as a symbol of her prayer for more land for Christian convents.

Today, the ritual involves burying a small statue of St. Joseph in the home’s yard for sale. It is accompanied by prayers asking for his intercession to find a buyer.

While predominantly a Catholic tradition, it has transcended religious boundaries. It appeals to people of various faiths due to its intriguing blend of religion, folklore and the desire for assistance in selling a home.

Steps for properly burying the statue

  1. Purchase a St. Joseph statue: Small, affordable statues designed explicitly for this purpose are available online and in religious stores.
  2. Find the right location: Common advice suggests burying the statue upside down, near the “For Sale” sign or the road facing the house. This is symbolic of St. Joseph working hard to sell the right home.
  3. Say the prayer: Recite the St. Joseph prayer for selling a house, asking for his aid in finding a worthy buyer quickly. Prayers can be found online or obtained where you purchase the statue.
  4. Faith and patience: Practice patience and maintain faith in the process. The tradition emphasizes belief in St. Joseph’s intercession as key to its effectiveness.
  5. Unearth and honor: Once the house is sold, it is essential to retrieve the statue and give it a place of honor in your new home as a gesture of gratitude.

Stage the house

The Significance of Staging in Selling a Home

Staging a house for sale goes beyond mere cleaning and decluttering. It’s about presenting your home in a way that highlights its best features, maximizes its potential and makes it more appealing to a broad range of buyers.

Staging sets the scene in each room, allowing potential buyers to envision themselves living in the space. This emotional connection can be powerful, often leading to quicker sales and even higher offers.

I would ask myself how your home’s presentation stacks up against the competition. Do you look as good? If not, it’s time to consider making some adjustments.

Key areas of the home to focus on

Certain areas of the home are more influential in a buyer’s decision-making process. The family room, kitchen and master bedroom are critical spaces that can significantly impact a buyer’s impression.

Ensuring these rooms are clean, well-organized and stylishly presented can make a strong statement.

For the kitchen, clear countertops and a fresh coat of paint on the cabinets can instantly refresh the space. Strategic furniture placement and a few decorative touches in the family room can create a welcoming atmosphere.

In the bedroom, luxurious linens and neutral decor can transform the space into a serene retreat.

Make necessary repairs

Does your home have blatant areas of concern that are deterring buyers?

Addressing essential repairs can significantly affect your home’s appeal and value. First-time sellers must know that move-in homes attract more buyers because they require less work and investment after purchase.

Making necessary repairs can also prevent buyers from requesting steep discounts during negotiation. By presenting a well-maintained home, you’re signaling to potential buyers that the property has been cared for. It increases their confidence in the quality of their investment.

Change real estate agents

Has your current real estate agent overpromised and under-delivered? A change could be warranted if that’s the case.

Recognizing when it’s time for a change

A competent and motivated local real estate agent is crucial to navigating the complexities of selling a home. However, there are times when changing agents becomes necessary to revitalize the selling process.

Signs that it might be time to consider a new agent include a need for more communication, insufficient marketing efforts for your property, a difference in vision or strategy, and an overall lack of results over a significant period.

A real estate agent’s role extends beyond just listing your property. They should be actively involved in every step of the selling process. Has your agent been advising that you’re failing to listen, or are they a silent partner?

If it’s the latter, then you may be warranted in wanting to fire them and move in a different direction.





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